Plant cell walls, which serve as structural support for individual plant cells and ultimately for the plant as a whole, are constructed under the direction of perhaps as many as 1000 different genes. However, these cell walls have many other functions. Analysis from a systems approach, reviewed by Somerville et al., promises new insight into the complex functions of cell walls, which include regulating growth, development, responses to pathogens, and signaling.
C. Somerville, S. Bauer, G. Brininstool, M. Facette, T. Hamann, J. Milne, E. Osborne, A. Paredez, S. Persson, T. Raab, S. Vorwerk, H. Youngs, Toward a systems approach to understanding plant cell walls. Science 306, 2206-2211 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]